Kowrk.com is Asia’s largest platform connecting users and providers of shared workspaces, with 42,000+ seats listed in 50+ cities. Why does that matter? Well, we’re best placed to advise you on the going rate for coworking in different parts of the world.
Our approach – Our analytical model included the average cost of dedicated desks, tourism trends, cost of living indexes, commercial rent indexes, and other global trends. We chose dedicated desk prices to be the key reference point as these are consistently available price points across the world. All data points were converted into USD. In this article series, we will be sharing insights, trends and projections at the global and regional levels.
Team Kowrk first did this analysis last year, which begs the question: Has anything changed since 2016?
In 2016, our analysis found that coworking spaces in Singapore were ~10% more expensive than Hong Kong. Prices in Singapore have since dropped due to a long slump in retail, residential & office property markets. Hong Kong coworking is now ~20% more expensive than Singapore.
India was the cheapest place to cowork in Asia in 2016. Prices have since risen in India due to the entry of a large number of high-end coworking spaces like WeWork, Awfis & iKeva. But as per our 2017 analysis, Cambodia is now ~25% cheaper than India. But is that really the case?
Daniel Levitin in A Field Guide to Lies and Statistics famously wrote, “on average, humans have one testicle”. Clearly, statistics can be deceiving. In India’s case, we’ve found that prices in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities have remained rather constant (taking into account inflation), whereas there has been a noticeable increase in prices in Tier 1 cities. Thus, although India’s average coworking prices have risen higher than Cambodia’s, if you’re in smaller Indian cities, you haven’t got much to worry about yet. Our models indicate that coworking prices in Tier 2 and Tier 3 Indian cities will rise in the next 5 years.
Let’s take a quick look at our analysis this year. After modeling numbers from different countries, the following are our key takeaways. The size of the circles in the diagram below represent the average cost of a monthly dedicated desk in that country.
The cheapest country for coworking in the world is Cambodia (~85 USD per dedicated desk per month), followed by Nigeria which is ~15% more expensive and India which is ~25% more expensive.
Coworking prices in Switzerland are currently the highest in the world at around 600 USD per dedicated desk per month. This aligns with the high cost of living there. (Switzerland is home to 7 of the 10 most expensive cities to live in globally according to the most recent statistics released this year.) The UAE is approximately 20% cheaper than Switzerland, followed by Hong Kong that is ~25% cheaper.
Hong Kong is one of the most expensive locations to cowork in Asia (~450 USD). This is corroborated by the fact that Hong Kong commercial property is some of the most expensive in the world. Prices in Hong Kong are hot also because demand for coworking there has shot up. China isn’t lagging far behind with average prices standing at ~20% cheaper than Hong Kong. Fun fact: prices in Hong Kong are ~550% higher than Cambodia. This means you can get a dedicated desk in Cambodia for over 5 months at the same cost of just 1 month of dedicated desk space in Hong Kong!
Singapore is now ~20% cheaper than Hong Kong, with the average dedicated desk price standing at ~350 USD (the same as China!). Taking a look at that part of the world, it must come as a surprise that coworking in Indonesia is approximately 15% more expensive than Malaysia. Why is this the case? Our analysis indicates that a large proportion of users of coworking spaces in Indonesia are tourists, expats, and other visiting foreign nationals. Most often digital nomads working while sipping a margarita on a beach in Bali, it is this segment of users that is driving up prices in Indonesia.
Coworking rates in the USA are similar to Hong Kong (~450 USD), mainly driven by New York & San Francisco. We see a high concentration of coworking spaces in cities that have high commercial property rates; the clear driving force behind higher dedicated desk prices. Apart from metropolitan areas, there has been a surge in the number of coworking spaces in the suburbs and smaller cities in the US. We expect average coworking prices in the USA to normalize in the coming months as more and more people in smaller cities adopt coworking. Coworking is catching up in Canada as spaces are coming up in their big cities. The rates there are relatively low (~270 USD), but we expect this to change in the coming years as big players gradually establish their presence in Canada.
Though London is one of the other major financial centers of the world, coworking prices there, coming in at approximately 350 USD per dedicated desk per month, aren’t aligned with other main cities. This can be attributed to the GBP to USD conversion fluctuation. #Brexit. In our analysis, Lithuania has the cheapest coworking rates in Europe. However, this may change as other European countries qualify to be included in our analytical models.
In the second year of our Price Heat Map Analysis, we have already started seeing the impact of our projections and forecasts. We will share more exciting news about coworking in other articles of this PHM series. Stay tuned!
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